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Telecommute Tips: Stay Focus with a Timer

Posted by Valencia on February 19th, 2008

focus.jpgEvery telecommuter knows how difficult it is to stay focused when working from home. Aside from surfing the Internet or lounging on the couch watching your favorite talk shows, housework and other non-work responsibilities can take center stage.

We all have different techniques for staying focus. Some people never turn on the television or they choose to limit telephone conversations, wherein their attention isn’t drawn elsewhere.

If you can’t seem to complete all the tasks listed on your daily to-do list, consider a different approach. I’m easily sidetracked. Additionally, I keep a tight schedule, which means I have to complete my freelance assignments within a specific time span. If I get off-track, my entire day is shot. Of course, planning to stay on task and actually staying on task are two different things.

I once read that a timer helps with productivity. At first, I didn’t buy the notion. How could a little timer make any real difference? But, since others have had success, I decided to give it a try - and it worked!

Maybe it’s a mental thing, but whenever I set the clock timer and make the decision to complete a task within the next 20 or 30 minutes, I’m able to do so. Sometimes, I finish before time expires. It’s like a game - a little challenge I give myself.

Sometimes, I don’t set the timer. Instead, I treat myself once a task is complete. Let’s say I’m hungry or I want something to drink. Rather than stop mid-sentence and satisfy this need, I don’t take a break until I complete a certain amount of work.

This little tactic motivates me to work, and I spend less time on other activities.

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Reader Comments


This is a good tip. I’ve done this for years and it really works.

I’ll have to try that timer thing. I’ve tried treating myself after a task, but I can’t concentrate unless I satisfy the need. I actually find I get more done if I stop mid-sentence and grab the snack, because then I’m not all anxious with hunger. I suppose that one needs to be able to strike a balance between work-related activities and plain old putzing.

Great post keep up with this interesting work. It really is good to know that this topic is being covered also on this web site so thanks for taking time to discuss this!

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